VW’s U.S. Chief Exits in Wake of Emissions Cheating Scandal

Volkswagen AG said the head of its U.S. operation will leave in a mutual agreement with the company, a move coming about six months after the Environmental Protection Agency said the German auto maker cheated on diesel emissions tests.

Michael Horn, an executive instrumental in helping the auto maker steer through the early days of the cheating scandal, will pursue other opportunities immediately, the company said. Hinrich Woebcken, recently named the new head of North American regional operations and chairman of the U.S. business, will take Mr. Horn’s place on an interim basis.

Volkswagen said Mr. Horn’s efforts are appreciated. “I want personally to say ‘thank you’ to Michael Horn for the great work he has done for the brand and with the dealers in the United States," said Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.

“During his time in the U.S., Michael Horn built up a strong relationship with our national dealer body and showed exemplary leadership during difficult times for the brand," Mr. Diess said.

Mr. Horn, 54, ran the U.S. operation since the beginning of 2014 and spent 25 years at Volkswagen in various roles. He has been widely praised by dealers for his management approach.

Volkswagen sales, however, have plummeted after the emissions scandal, and the company has been seen as moving slow to offer a fix for problems with diesel engines. Mr. Horn couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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